THE BEGINNING OF SCOUTING
Scouting, as known to millions of youth and adults, evolved during the early 1900s through the efforts of several men dedicated to bettering
youth. These pioneers of the program conceived outdoor activities that developed skills in young boys and gave them a sense of enjoyment,
fellowship, and a code of conduct for everyday living.
In this country and abroad at the turn of the century, it was thought that children needed certain kinds of education that the schools couldn't or
didn't provide. This led to the formation of a variety of youth groups, many with the word "Scout" in their names. For example, Ernest
Thompson Seton, an American naturalist, artist, writer, and lecturer, originated a group called the Woodcraft Indians and in 1902 wrote a
guidebook for boys in his organization called the Birch Bark Roll. Meanwhile in Britain, Robert Baden-Powell, after returning to his country a
hero following military service in Africa, found boys reading the manual he had written for his regiment on stalking and survival in the wild.
Gathering ideas from Seton, America's Daniel Carter Beard, and other Scoutcraft experts, Baden-Powell rewrote his manual as a nonmilitary
skill book, which he titled Scouting for Boys. The book rapidly gained a wide readership in England and soon became popular in the United
States. In 1907, when Baden-Powell held the first campout for Scouts on Brownsea Island off the coast of England, troops were spontaneously
springing up in America.
William D. Boyce, a Chicago publisher, incorporated the Boy Scouts of America in 1910 after meeting with Baden-Powell. (Boyce was inspired
to meet with the British founder by an unknown Scout who led him out of a dense London fog and refused to take a tip for doing a Good Turn.)
Immediately after its incorporation, the BSA was assisted by officers of the YMCA in organizing a task force to help community organizations
start and maintain a high-quality Scouting program. Those efforts climaxed in the organization of the nation's first Scout camp at Lake George,
New York, directed by Ernest Thompson Seton. Beard, who had established another youth group, the Sons of Daniel Boone (which he later
merged with the BSA), provided assistance. Also on hand for this historic event was James E. West, a lawyer and an advocate of children's
rights, who later would become the first professional Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. Seton became the first volunteer
national Chief Scout, and Beard, the first national Scout Commissioner.
SOME FACTS ABOUT SCOUTING
> At the end of 1995, the Boy Scouts of America had more than 93 million alumni. If they were all alive today, they would comprise the eleventh
largest country in population in the world.
> Of men who were Scouts for five years or more, 98 percent graduated from high school, compared to 83 percent of non-Scouts.
> Of men who were Scouts for five years or more, 40 percent graduated from high school, compared to 16 percent of non-Scouts.
> Of men who were members of the Boy Scouts of America as youth, 94 percent agree that Scouting helps develop character.
> If a Boy Scout attends his weekly patrol and troop meeting, participates in a monthly weekend troop outing, and attends long-term summer
camp with his troop, he will have spent about as much time with Scouting in a year as he spends in the classroom
Olympian, Former World Record
Holder, Triple and Long jumps
Lloyd Bentsen, Jr.
Former Secretary of Treasury
United States Senator, Texas
The Honorable Bill Bradley
United States Senator
Milton A. Caniff
William C. DeVries, MD
Surgeon -Transplanted first
Former Speaker of the House/
United States Congressman
Honorable Gerald R. Ford
38th President of the U.S.
Stage Director and Academy
Award Winning Film Editor
James A. LoveIl,Jr.
Honorable Richard G. Iugar
United States Senator, IN
|J. Willard Marriott Jr.
Chairman of the Board and
President Marriott Corp.
The Honorable Sam Nunn
United States Senator, GA
H. Ross Perot
Founder, Electronic Data Systems
Corporation and Perot Group
Pulitzer Prize Winning Author
Film Director and Producer
FAMOUS EAGLE SCOUTS
The fact that a boy is an Eagle Scout has always carried with it a special significance, not only in Scouting, but also as
he enters higher education, business or industry, and community service. The award is a performance based
achievement whose standards have been well maintained over the years. Not every boy who joins a Boy Scout troop
earns the Eagle Scout rank; only about 2.5 percent of all Boy Scouts do so. This represents more than one million
Boy Scouts who have earned the rank since 1911. Nevertheless, the goals of Scouting - citizenship, training,
character development, and personal fitness -remain important for all Scouts, whether or not they attain the Eagle